Effect of perioperatiye prophylactic antimicrobial treatment in dogs undergoing elective orthopedic surgery

Ted L. Whittem, Ann L. Johnson, Charles W. Smith, David J. Schaeffer, Bradley R. Coolman, Scott M. Averill, Timothy K. Cooper, Graham R. Merkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine whether perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis would reduce incidence of postoperative infection among dogs undergoing elective orthopedic procedures. Design - Randomized, controlled, blinded, intention clinical trial. Animals - Dogs of any breed, sex, or age undergoing elective orthopedic surgery at a veterinary teaching hospital. Procedures - Dogs were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: treatment with saline solution, treatment with potassium penicillin G, and treatment with cefazolin. Treatments were intended to be administered within 30 minutes prior to surgery; a second dose was administered if surgery lasted > 90 minutes. Dogs were monitored for 10 to 14 days after surgery for evidence of infection. Results - After the first 112 dogs were enrolled in the study, it was found that infection rate for control dogs (5/32 dogs) was significantly higher than the rate for dogs treated with antimicrobials (3/80 dogs). Therefore, no more dogs were enrolled in the study. A total of 126 dogs completed the study. Monte Carlo simulations indicated that compared with dogs that received antimicrobials prophylactically, dogs that received saline solution developed infections significantly more frequently. Difference in efficacy, however, was not observed between the 2 antimicrobial drugs used. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Results indicated that perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis decreased postoperative infection rate in dogs undergoing elective orthopedic surgery, compared with infection rate in control dogs. Cefazolin was not more efficacious than potassium penicillin G in these dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:212-216).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)


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